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Fitbit Ionic 2: Latest news and rumours

Written by  Aug 10, 2018

The Fitbit Ionic had the potential to be an outstanding fitness-orientated smartwatch. It had an eye-catching design coupled with all the core features a fitness enthusiast needs, including GPS, a heart rate monitor, swim and sleep tracking and NFC (for contactless payments).

However, what prevented the Ionic from achieving true greatness was its core smart features. We experienced flaky synchronisation and its notification handling wasn’t great either. For a watch that cost £300 at launch, it’s fair to expect better, not least because the class-leading Apple Watch Series 3 costs only £30 more.

Now it’s coming up for a year since the Fitbit Ionic was launched, you can pick one up for £250 or less, but you’d be justified in wondering if it’s worth holding off and waiting for a newer model.

When is it going to be released and how much will it cost?

There’s no official word yet on whether the Fitbit Ionic 2 will even be a thing, let alone when it’ll be released. However, Fitbit has been known to announce updated versions of its devices around a year after they were first launched – the Fitbit Alta HR, for example, launched roughly 12 months after the original Alta.

At the earliest, then, we might see the Fitbit Ionic 2 announced at IFA 2018, ahead of a September 2018 launch. However, it’s worth pointing out that Fitbit has also waited much longer before releasing new versions of other devices. The Flex 2, for example, was released some three to four years after the original Flex, so we might be waiting some time longer yet for the Ionic 2.

As far as price is concerned, we’d be surprised if Fitbit deviated much from the Ionic’s £300 starting price and the price of the premium level opposition. The Fitbit Versa, released earlier this year, is the company’s mid-range smartwatch and costs £200, so we’d expect the Ionic 2 to cost somewhere between £280 and £320.

What will it look like?

Fitbit often sticks to its guns as far as core design features are concerned, making only small incremental changes to its devices, but the Versa represented a strong departure from the Ionic, so we have no idea what to expect from the Ionic 2.

We really liked that Ionic was so distinctive, but having said that, we’d also be a little disappointed if the Ionic 2 looked too much like its predecessor. For now, your guess is as good as ours when it comes to knowing how the Ionic 2 will look but we’ll be sure to update this page if any rumoured images of the Fitbit Ionic 2 are leaked.

What will it be able to do?

Again, there’s no confirmation of whether the Fitbit Ionic 2 appear at this early juncture, so it’s very difficult to say with any confidence what features it might have. However, we know what we’d like to see on a new Fitbit flagship watch and, for starters, that involves the Ionic 2 being able to do everything the first Ionic could.

Built-in GPS (something the cheaper Versa lacks), an optical-heart rate monitor, an altimeter and NFC should all be present but, crucially, we’d also like to see Fitbit finally iron out the Ionic’s problems with synchronization and notifications. Considering the Fitbit Versa suffered similar pitfalls that might be asking a bit too much but there’s nothing wrong with dreaming.

Another aspect we’d like Fitbit to improve is general performance and responsiveness. Although, not completely disastrous, the rather slow scrolling animations of the original Ionic have no place in a world where the Apple Watch holds sway.

Finally, because the Ionic 2 would inevitably be a fitness-orientated smartwatch, we’d also expect Fitbit to add features that give you more detailed insights into your overall health and fitness. The Ionic’s sleep tracking is as good as any you’ll find on any wrist wearable but many of Fitbit’s rivals now analyse heart-rate variability data to monitor stress levels, so we’d be surprised if this wasn’t added to a new flagship Fitbit device.

Beyond this, anything we say would be pure speculation, but we’ll update this page if there’s any news about the Fitbit Ionic 2 and its features.

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